Thank you, Chair.
Congratulations to my friend and colleague of many years. I don't share the skepticism of my opposition colleagues with respect to the wisdom of your appointment, particularly with respect to its strategic position. Frequently, ambassadors are focused on their own domains, and as I would understand your position, it is to take a bit of a 35,000-foot look, if you will.
The Prime Minister is fond of saying that our unity is in our diversity. In Europe, it seems to work in the reverse, or at least right now it seems to be working in the reverse, and you come in at a time when the European Union is undergoing significant stresses and strains.
One of the strains at a very high level is whether it continues to be an Atlantic relationship or whether it spins off, if you will, in some parts, to the south or to the east, particularly with Russian influence. The Atlantic relationship is a non-starter unless the Americans are vigorous in their pursuit of Europe. Under the current administration, the Americans seem somewhat less enthusiastic about Europe. In particular, their not pursuing the trade agreement would be an example. This has enormous implications, probably within your term.
My question is about whether you've had any conversations with your American counterparts about the role that America chooses or doesn't choose to play in this Atlantic relationship.